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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Ballot Issues 1 and 2

The Questions (Click on question to go directly to Answers)

1. Why is this election being held?
2. What types of projects have been identified?
3. What are the Small Projects in the Grand Plan?
4. What are the Capital Projects?
5. Tell me more about the Wayfaring and Signage plans.
6. What will be included in the Softball Field Improvements?
7. Tell me more about the Splash Park.
8. What will be included in the Bicycle/Pedestrian Trails?
9. What amenities will be included in the Community Activity and Event Center?
10. How is it planned to keep these Capital Projects within a budget?
11. Will there be user fees associated with these Capital Projects?
12. How will the operation and maintenance cost for new Capital Projects be addressed?
13. What is the LOFT Fund?
14. What is the Community Services Fund?
15. How will the Grand Plan projects be paid for?
16. Why is bonding being considered?
17. What new revenue source is being considered and why?
18. Are there other potential revenues available to pay for these projects?
19. How much would this cost my household?
20. What effect will this have on visitors/travelers
21. How will these projects effect the economic development of Limon?
22. If approved, what is the projected timeline for these projects?
23. What is the Revenue Ballot Issue 1?
24. What is the Bonding Ballot Issue 2?
25. Where will the recreation center be? Will the old pool be closed?
26. Where is the money from the sales tax increase after the tornado being used?
27. Not enough housing now what’s helping there?
28. What happens to the excess funds if more grants are awarded and over time?
29. Are believable long-term costs associated with maintaining a pool and rec center included in estimates?
30. What is the duration of the bond and tax increase?
31. Where will the tax go?
32. Will there be a property tax increase also?

The Answers

1. Why is this election being held?

Driven by community input and planning since 2013, a plan was created that would identify improvements and services that were the highest priority to the community. This plan became known as the Grand Plan. This plan, in order to be implemented, requires a new revenue source which would be committed to building, maintaining and operating the projects within the plan. Colorado’s Constitution requires voter approval of any new tax revenue source and of any long-term financing associated with the projects.

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2. What types of projects have been identified?

The components being considered by the Grand Plan include 1) Small Projects, 2) Capital Projects requiring financing, 3) Operation and Maintenance of the Capital Projects, 4) LOFT Fund and 5) Community Services Fund. Each will play a vital role to improve the quality of life, health and safety of the community and to stimulate economic development in Limon and surrounding area. These components are explained below.

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3. What are the Small Projects in the Grand Plan?

These community priority projects do not require new revenues and can be accomplished in the next few years through grants and current revenues and include 1) South Limon Park Improvements, 2) Railroad Park Improvements, 3) Smith Baseball Field Improvements, and 4) Fishing Pond Improvements. These projects were included in the top thirteen projects that were prioritized by the community members participating in the planning process. Investment has already been made or grant applications submitted for some of these projects.

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4. What are the Capital Projects?

Capital Projects have been identified for bonding which allows completion of these projects as quickly as possible and mitigates the rapidly increasing cost of construction. Capital projects include 1) Wayfaring and Signage, 2) Softball Field Improvements, 3) Splash Park, 4) Bicycle and Pedestrian Trails, and 5) an Activity and Event Center which combines a new outdoor pool, event space for up to 300 occupants and a recreation facility

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5. Tell me more about the Wayfaring and Signage plans.

This project was originally identified in the Updated Comprehensive Plan and later refined by the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ for its economic development impact. For years, the community has tried to get the 1000’s of daily Limon visitors to recognize that Limon has more to offer than food, fuel and lodging at the west and east exits. The focus of this project is to establish local signage to direct and entice more people to visit downtown Limon, historic sites, parks, recreation facilities, open space and cultural resources. This wayfaring/signage will provide visitors a better understanding of what Limon has to offer, encouraging visitors to stay longer and to return again. The project will also improve gateway signage at both interstate interchanges welcoming travelers to Limon. Too many visitors have no idea that Limon has the Heritage Museum and Railroad Park, Swimming Pool, Doug Kissel Fishing Pond, Tamarack Golf Course, Lincoln Theatre and other parks and ballfields.

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6. What will be included in the Softball Field Improvements?

This project includes adding new bleachers at the north field, new fencing at warm-up area, replacing lighting at both fields improving the energy efficiency and quality of the lighting and the safety of the players, and a new child playground area.

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7. Tell me more about the Splash Park.

The Splash Park would be a new facility that would be free for public access and usage. A traditional Splash Park consists of a concrete pad, spray features, seating and shade. The project’s location is undetermined but is planned to be it the central area of town as a stand- alone site. Potential locations could be the existing Town Park, Railroad Park or on the corner of Main and ‘E’ Ave. The location will be a central place that is easily accessible.

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8. What will be included in the Bicycle/Pedestrian Trails?

This is another project which was originally identified in the Updated Comprehensive Plan and later refined by the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™. This project is now defined as Phase I will include more crusher fines trails similar to the existing Limon trail, new sidewalks and minimal street painting, primarily to give a sense of direction and awareness.

Two crusher fines trails will include one trail in the northern part of Limon connecting to the west end of town and one in south Limon. The South Limon Loop will be on Town property adjacent to Big Sandy Creek. The planned sidewalk includes the area where none currently exists along Main Street between the Highway 24 spur and M Avenue. Future bicycle/pedestrian/trail grant funding could increase the scope of this project.

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9. What amenities will be included in the Community Activity and Event Center?

The Community Activity and Event Center comprises of a new Outdoor Pool, Event Center and Recreation Facility at one location. It is planned to be located in the currently undeveloped area just northwest of the intersection of Ninth Street and O Avenue. Lack of space, especially for parking, at the current site of the swimming pool and community building has led to locating this Center at a new site centrally located. Without moving this facility to another site all existing green space(lawn) would be taken by building and parking.

Early in the planning process and continuing throughout the process, the community wanted any new facilities to be located between Main Street and Interstate 70 and between the Highway 24 spur and Highway 71 North. The community involved in planning did not want children crossing a state highway from Limon Schools.
The Outdoor Pool would replace the existing pool that was built in 1957. The pool would include 3-4 lap lanes, zero entry, diving board, slide, toddler pool, enlarged deck area and shade structures.

With space to host events up to 300 people for wedding receptions, small conferences, company meetings and other large gatherings, the Event Center could be used as one open room or segregated into three smaller spaces to host events such as meetings, birthday parties and family gatherings. A catering kitchen for large events and counter space in the three separate meeting rooms would be available. A portable stage would be available as well.

The Recreation Facility would include a gymnasium designed to meet the needs of the many indoor youth and adult recreation programs, weight/cardio room, multi-purpose rooms, therapy pool, locker rooms, indoor walking track and children’s play area. A portion of this facility is intended to be available 24 hours per day, while other portions will be open shorter periods to be dictated by user numbers and financial implications.

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10. How is it planned to keep these Capital Projects within a budget?

Throughout the process of community meetings and workshops, it has been a primary focus to quantify the cost by using multiple resources to evaluate not only the design but the projected cost of the Capital Projects. Community committees and town officials originally worked with the University Technical Assistance program from University of Colorado Denver to provide rough costs estimates for a Community Activity and Event Center and Bike/Pedestrian Trails.

Upon completion of the University of Colorado Denver plan, a day long Collaborative Design Process with Neenan Archistruction resulted in a more refined design and cost for a Community Activity and Event Center. If approved, the Community Activity and Event Center will be built using a design-build process with a Guaranteed Maximum Price. That price will be negotiated prior to any construction.

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11. Will there be user fees associated with these Capital Projects?

Just as there are user fees for the current pool, community building and recreation programs, there will be user fees associated with some of the capital projects within the Grand Plan. The splash park and bicycle and pedestrian trail will have no user fees. The softball field improvements will have no direct individual user fees other than the current program participant fee structure.  Just as the current pool has individual and family user fees, the new outdoor pool will have user fees. The operations of the Event Center would be similar to the current arrangement with the Limon Community Building.  Fees would be based on rooms, time and additional services, if applicable to the event. Like most facilities, a new recreation facility in Limon would require user fees to help cover operations, programming and maintenance (O & M) costs above the moderate amount projected to be covered with new revenue in the Grand Plan for O & M. 

Historically, Limon has offered its programs and facilities to all with no difference between those living in or outside of Limon. The Limon Board of Trustees has expressed their intent to continue that same policy for use of this facility in acknowledgement that a large percentage of the new revenue, which will assist with its construction and operation, will be coming from those who live outside of town.

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12. How will the operation and maintenance cost for new Capital Projects be addressed?

Once the projects have been constructed, there will be annual operations and maintenance costs associated with each project. In order to keep user fees low, the total budget for the Grand Plan also calls for setting aside a portion of the new revenue for operations and maintenance of the new Capital Projects. Until the project has been in use, it can only be estimated based on similar facilities a predetermined amount. Funding for operation and maintenance will come from the new revenue source and user fees such as rentals, memberships, recreational activities/tournaments.

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13. What is the LOFT Fund?

LOFT stands for “Limon’s Opportunity for Tomorrow”. his fund, managed by a committee of citizens with oversight by the Board of Trustees, would receive $75,000 annually from the new revenue. Those funds are committed to eligible projects identified through the community planning processes such as incentives and programs supporting housing and job creation, non-profit assistance, local business programs, broadband, and the Veteran’s War Memorial. The LOFT Fund focuses on incentives for businesses and housing or programs benefiting local small businesses or non-profits.

Examples of eligible uses are façade improvements or other small business programs assistance for expansion of small business such as childcare or downtown business, or matching grant funding for local non-profits such as the Limon Heritage Society and Limon Child Development.

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14. What is the Community Services Fund?

The final component of the Grand Plan is the Community Services Fund which captures the growth of new revenue in future years to assist community services identified by the community or additional projects that could be identified in the future. This fund would be directed by the Board of Trustees. Example of projects: Limon Ambulance Service, Streets/Sidewalks, Limon Municipal Airport, Tamarack Golf Course, Parks and Recreation, Senior Services including Transit, and Future Unidentified Projects. These projects help to benefit the whole of the community and offer a better quality of life. The Community Services Fund focuses on services and facilities provided by the Town of Limon.

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15. How will the Grand Plan projects be paid for?

In order for the Grand Plan components to be completed, a new voter approved revenue will be required. The ballot issue referred by the Board of Trustees asks voter approval on an increase in sales tax to add 1.5 cents per dollar on retail sales in Limon. This would generate approximately $825,000 per year to implement all components of the Grand Plan.

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16. Why is bonding being considered?

Bonding the Capital Projects allows completion of the projects as quickly as possible and mitigates the rapidly increasing cost of construction. Construction cost is increasing dramatically across the country. Delaying construction may make completion of the all the projects unachievable, as the cost of construction is projected to increase faster than the cost of bonding. Getting the project bonded sooner rather than later, sets the cost of borrowing today rather than likely higher rates in the future date. Building as quickly as possible provides an immediate return on investment to the community.

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17. What new revenue source is being considered and why?

Because Limon is in the unique position of having at least 85% of its current sales tax being paid by visitors, the ballot issue referred by the Board of Trustees asks voter approval on an increase in sales tax. Conversely, it would take an increase of more than 230% in Limon property taxes to generate similar revenue, all of which would be paid by Limon residents and businesses. The increase of 1.5 cents per dollar on retail sales in Limon would provide approximately $825,000 per year to implement all components of the Grand Plan. This method will have the lowest impact on residents but high returns.

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18. Are there other potential revenues available to pay for these projects?

The Town of Limon believes that If the voter approved revenue question passes, there is a significant opportunity for applying for and receiving grant funding from multiple sources which can be applied to ultimately reduce the amount being bonded. The level of investment by the community is of great interest to grant funding organizations when considering their willingness to contribute. Future grant funding could reduce the level of financing or increase the scope of the projects.

The Rohr Legacy Fund, from which the Town expects to receive $70,000 annually for recreation purposes, is certainly included in the plan both to complete small projects and offset the amount of the new revenue required to cover the bonding of capital recreation projects and their annual operation and maintenance.

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19. How much would this cost my household?

The household cost of a voter approved increase of 1.5 cents per dollar spent on taxable retail sales in Limon will vary on how much your household spends on local taxable retail sales such as groceries, gifts, dining out in Limon, electricity, natural gas, vehicles and building materials. Fuel is not subject to sales tax. Most households spend between $500 to $750 per month on taxable retail purchases in Limon. At $500 in retail spending per month, the cost to your household would be $7.50 a month. At $750 in retail spending per month, the cost would be $11.25 a month.

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20. What effect will this have on visitors/travelers?

Since Limon is the “Hub City” of Eastern Colorado, there is a high volume of travelers that pass-through Limon. Across Colorado the average sales tax rate is 7.54%. Currently, Limon’s sales tax is currently lower than most areas in Colorado and would be similar after the tax increase. After the voter approved increase, Limon’s sales tax would still be lower than many places along I-70 in Kansas.

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21. How will these projects effect the economic development of Limon?

The Grand Plan implements many of the goals and strategies identified in the Comprehensive Plan that were designed to encourage economic development and growth. The goals included 1) Expand Limon’s role as regional center, 2) Attract new primary industries to Limon, 3) Entice interchange visitors and lodging guests to explore Limon, 4) Promote community assets, and 5) Diversify and expand housing.

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22. If approved, what is the projected timeline for these projects?

It is the intent to implement each component as quickly as possible. The timeline is driven by the cashflow of the new revenue, bonding, grant funding process and by the design-build process. Following April election, the Town will then be able to make application to the grant funding organizations and complete a process of selection for the design-build firm which will contract with the Town of Limon to design and construct the facility intended with a Guaranteed Maximum Price. The process of selling the bonds can be initiated as quickly as the legal process allows in order to protect the financing from increasing interest rates. The new revenue would begin to be collected by local Limon businesses in July 2018, the local businesses would submit the July collections to the state of Colorado in August 2018 and the state would begin providing the funds monthly to the Town of Limon in September. It is expected that construction can begin in the spring of 2019.

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23. What is the Revenue Ballot Issue 1?

SHALL THE TOWN OF LIMON TAXES BE INCREASED $975,000 ANNUALLY (WHICH AMOUNT REPRESENTS ESTIMATED REVENUES IN 2019, THE FIRST FULL FISCAL YEAR OF COLLECTION) AND BY WHATEVER AMOUNT IS GENERATED THEREAFTER THROUGH THE IMPOSITION OF A SALES AND USE TAX IMPOSED AT THE RATE OF ONE AND ONE-HALF PERCENT (WHICH REPRESENTS ONE AND ONE-HALF CENTS ON EACH DOLLAR PURCHASE); SHALL THE REVENUES FROM THE SALES AND USE TAX BE DEPOSITED INTO THE GRAND PLAN FUND AND THEREAFTER ALLOCATED, AS DETERMINED BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, TO (I) THE GRAND PLAN CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT ACCOUNT, (II) THE LIMON’S OPPORTUNITY FOR TOMORROW (LOFT) ACCOUNT, AND (III) THE COMMUNITY SERVICES ACCOUNT; SHALL TOWN ORDINANCE NO. 613 PROVIDING FOR THE TAX INCREASE COMMENCING JULY 1, 2018, AND THE OPERATIONS OF THE GRAND PLAN FUND AND ACCOUNTS ESTABLISHED THEREIN BE APPROVED; AND SHALL APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE TOWN CODE BE AMENDED BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES CONSISTENT WITH THIS BALLOT ISSUE?

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24. What is the Bonding Ballot Issue 2?

SHALL THE TOWN OF LIMON DEBT BE INCREASED $8.68 MILLION, WITH A MAXIMUM REPAYMENT COST OF UP TO $17.03 MILLION, SUCH DEBT TO CONSIST OF SALES AND USE TAX REVENUE BONDS OR SIMILAR OBLIGATIONS TO BE PAYABLE FROM ALL OR A PORTION OF THE TOWN’S SALES AND USE TAX INCREASE, IF AUTHORIZED BY SEPARATE BALLOT ISSUE, AND OTHER LEGALLY AVAILABLE MONEYS OF THE TOWN AND ISSUED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINANCING, TO THE EXTENT OF AVAILABLE MONEYS, THE DEVELOPMENT, CONSTRUCTION AND ACQUISITION OF CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PRIORITIZED BY THE COMMUNITY IN THE TOWN OF LIMON GRAND PLAN, INCLUDING AMONG OTHER THINGS,

• AN ACTIVITY AND EVENT CENTER INCLUDING OUTDOOR POOL, EVENT SPACE AND RECREATION FACILITY; PARK AND FIELD IMPROVEMENTS; SIGNAGE; TRAILS; AND OTHER PARK AND RECREATION IMPROVEMENTS;

SUCH BONDS OR SIMILAR OBLIGATIONS TO BE DATED AND SOLD AT SUCH TIME, AND AT SUCH PRICES (AT, ABOVE OR BELOW PAR) AND CONTAINING SUCH TERMS, NOT INCONSISTENT HEREWITH, AS THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES MAY DETERMINE?

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25. Where will the recreation center be? Will the old pool be closed?

The recreation center would be part of the Activity and Event Center to be located in the currently undeveloped area just northwest of the intersection of Ninth Street and O Avenue. See FAQ 9 for more information on how the location was selected.

The old pool will be closed. Having been built in 1957, the existing pool is well beyond its service life and addressing the structural and mechanical issues would be nearly as expensive as a new pool. By combining the new pool with the Activity and Event Center, shared staffing and locker rooms create cost savings.

The old pool will continue to operate until new pool opens.

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26. Where is the money from the sales tax increase after the tornado being used?

The Town of Limon has not raised any taxes including sales tax and property tax. The current sales tax rate is unchanged since it was first put in place in the 1970’s. Lincoln County added a voter-approved sales tax in the early 1990. Currently that sales tax is collecting approximately $1.3 million for Lincoln County. That sales tax revenue has been used to provide a 12 mill property tax decrease that saves Lincoln County landowners $1.8 million a year.

In terms of Limon collected property taxes, in 1990, the Town’s mill levy was 25.5 mills. This year the mill levy is 17.676. Even with the growth of the commercial sector, total property tax revenue between 2000 and current has increased 8% while the cost of living has increased almost 40%.

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27. Not enough housing now what’s helping there?

One of the purposes of the LOFT Fund is to provide funding for incentivizing housing. The $75,000 annual contribution from the new sales tax revenue could be used to provide either a direct incentive or infrastructure incentive for housing.

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28. What happens to the excess funds if more grants are awarded and over time?

Any tax revenues not committed to bond payments, operation and maintenance of the capital projects, or the LOFT Fund flow into the Community Services Fund. This keeps those funds separate from the General Fund.

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29. Are believable long-term costs associated with maintaining a pool and rec center included in estimates?

Several of the capital projects include an annual set-aside for operation and maintenance (see FAQ 12). The operation and maintenance estimates include Wayfaring/Signage ($2,500 annually), Bicycle/Pedestrian Trails ($7,500 annually) and the Activity and Event Center ($280,000 annually). Clearly the Activity and Event Center projects the highest operation and maintenance and this includes additional staff that will be added to current staffing once constructed. These set-asides were arrived at through research including YMCA, the WRAC Center in Wray and other recreation and event centers around the state.

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30. What is the duration of the bond and tax increase?

The duration of the bonding will be 30 years. There is no sunset on the tax increase. The overall purpose of the Community Services Fund (FAQ 14) is to separate all the new revenue above the annual commitments to bonding Capital Projects, operation and maintenance and the LOFT Fund. Once the Grand Plan bonding is paid off, that revenue can then be used for replacement and major repairs likely necessary for these capital projects after 30 years of operation with excess to flow annually into the Community Services Fund allowing future citizens to identify priorities needing additional revenue resources in the future.

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31. Where will the tax go?

As stated in the ballot question for Issue 1, if approved by voters, the Community Improvement Sales and Use Tax shall be deposited Into the Grand Plan Fund, and allocated to the Community Capital Improvement Account, The Limon’s Opportunity for Tomorrow (LOFT) Account, and Community Services Account.
None of the funds will be deposited to the General Fund.

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32. Will there be a property tax increase also?

There is no property tax increase considered in this plan.

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